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Dirt Racing

Larson Scores at Grandview Again; Godown Mod Man



Paul Arch

BECHTELSVILLE, PA (June 29, 2021): Kyle Larson demonstrated his mastery of the third-mile oval carved out of a hilltop about fifty years ago. He captured his fourth PA Speedweek win in five years at Grandview Speedway and, to do it, he had to chase down one of the hottest drivers in Pennsylvania. Plus, he had to keep another challenger at bay in the middle stage of the race.

“I definitely had to earn that one,” Larson said in victory lane. “I felt good in the beginning, but not so good in the middle, and then the bottom came in.” Larson explained that he could hear Danny Dietrich behind him, that he saw him, and that he felt him on his right rear when they were fighting for second. But a caution changed things for Larson. He found the rubber and was able to pass the leader from the start, Brent Marks, who slid up out of the groove in turn four.

Dietrich agreed that the caution played a big part in the outcome of the race. “We got rolling there in the middle of the race. I was maybe a lap away from passing Kyle, Maybe I used my stuff up in the middle of the race.”

Anthony Macri had the pole for the 35 lap Hodnett Cup named in honor of the nine-time winner in 410 Sprint competition at Grandview. Next to him was the hottest commodity in PA Sprint Car racing right now, Brent Marks. Paul McMahan and Christopher Bell, the defending race winner, were in row two. Larson and is Califonia pal, Rico Abreu, occupied the third row. Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was in row four, along with Monday’s winner, Justin Peck. Row five featured Buddy Kofoid and Kyle Moody. Ryan Smith and Danny Dietrich were in row six.

Macri was quick down the front stretch, but Marks had the better line in the first turn, He wrestled the lead away from the Concrete Kid. Bell held down the third position, then came McMahan and Larson. Rahmer raced along in sixth, followed by Abreu, Peck, Smith, and Kofoid.

A caution on lap seven almost eliminated the leaders when Jeff Halligan came to a stop unexpectedly in between turns one and two, Marks barely avoided contact, but Bell was not so fortunate. He brushed Halligan and twisted the right rear corner of his top wing inward. That got others jammed up behind Bell, and Peck spun around.

The officials sorted things out, and Marks was positioned on the point for the restart. Macri, Bell, Larson, Rahmer, and McMahan were next in line.

The restart went off without a hitch, but several laps afterwards, there was chaos in turn three. Rahmer spun around and was hit head on by another car. Several cars sustained major damage, including Kofoid, Devon Borden, and Austin Bishop. Bishop was towed to the pits and he was the only racer involved who was able to make repairs and rejoin the race.

Marks took off with the lead again, and it certainly looked as though he would tally his third Speedweek win. Macri held second, but Larson moved ahead of Bell’s wounded car. Larson began to reel in Macri. On lap 22, Larson went under Macri for second and Danny Dietrich, who probably had the fastest car on the track at that stage of the race, moved into third on lap later.

While Marks maintained the lead despite heavy lapped traffic, Larson and Dietrich were putting on quite the show, darting around the slower cars. A key turning point in the race came a few laps later. Just as Dietrich was ready to pounce on Larson in traffic, the caution came out ending his bid for the second spot.

Marks now had Larson on his tail for the final restart. Larson applied the pressure, but he was unable to get by. Larson found some rubber in the low groove, and he put his nose under Marks coming through turns three and four. Marks was unable to keep his car on the bottom and Larson stayed low. He powered off turn four to draw up next to Marks. He executed a hard slider in turn one to take the lead away.

Three Rivers Karting

“It was pretty disappointing to get slid at the end,” Marks noted. “I was getting tight in three and four and I thought Kyle was going to slide me down there.” Marks explained that he went low to protect and that he got into some water and slid up, allowing Larson to get inside of him.

Larson kept his car straight and in the rubber for the final eight laps. Meanwhile, Dietrich was trying every move available to get around Marks. However, Marks defended his position well to get the second biggest check of the night, Dietrich was third, with Macri and Moody next.

Abreu, Bell, Lynton Jeffrey, Ryan Taylor, and peck completed the top ten.

Heat wins were scored by Macri, Abreu, and Larson, Taylor took the B Main. The quick time award went to Marks, who turned in an amazing 11.888 second lap. In the heat races, Anthony Fiore crashed in turn one. His crew made repairs in time for the B Main, but he detected a steering problem and did not start. Likewise, Lance Dewease sustained an engine problem in his heat. He pushed off for the B but elected not to start that race.

The companion thirty lapper for the 358 Modified division was outstanding. Ryan Godown muscled his way into the lead in the early going. However, Brett Kressley worked his way into second on lap three. Duane Howard took third on the next lap, and Jeff Strunk assumed fourth on lap seven. Craig Von Dohren moved into fifth on lap twelve.

Godown continued to lead, but the heavy hitters behind him started to close in as the laps wound down. Godown got to lapped traffic first and he was able to use the slower cars on the bottom to maintain his lead as his competitors followed him in the middle groove.

The only caution of the race came on lap 28 when a backmarker spun in turn four.

Godown had the point for the single file restart, with Howard, Strunk, Kressley, and CVD lined up behind him. Godown led the rest of the way, but Strunk charged around Howard to take second on the final lap. Kressley and Von Dohren held their positions.

“I didn’t want to see that caution,” Godown said. “It put all the good guys right on my bumper. I just hit my marks the last two laps.

Sixth went to Kevin Hirthler. Craig Whitmoyer, Mike Gular, Justin Grim, and Jordan Henn completed the top ten.

Heat wins were chalked up by Grimm, Howard, and Hirthler. Doug Manmiller won the B Main.

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Dirt Racing

Marks Makes Posse Proud



WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 24, 2021): Brent Marks declared his allegiance to the Pennsylvania Posse in victory lane at Williams Grove, much to the delight of the substantial crowd on hand for the finale of the 20th Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway, The fans were in a forgiving mood because, regardless of affiliation, he was the first Pennsylvania driver to defeat the World of Outlaws at the Grove in over two years.

Marks was a bona fide member of the Posse before leaving to spend a couple of seasons with the Outlaws. For 2021, his plan was to follow the All Stars Circuit of Champions aboard the CJB Motorsports entry. However, the driver from Myersdale, PA is back in his family-owned Sprint after parting company with the CJB team earlier this season. While Marks spends most of his time racing locally, he does wander off on occasion, such as his recent journey to Eldora Speedway for the King’s Royal events last week.

“The track was very tricky tonight,” Marks said. “We had a lot of trouble with lapped cars,” he added. He also acknowledged his good luck, as he twice lost the lead to last night’s winner, Sheldon Haudenschild. The two lead changes occurred well before the scoring loop and neither was counted as official. On one occasion, Marks was bailed out by a caution for one of those troublesome lapped cars and, on the other, Haudenschild popped a wheelie going down the back stretch after taking the green and Marks gathered himself back up to drive past while Haudenschild fought to regain control.

Haudenschild positioned himself for a repeat performance, starting the thirty lapper on the pole. Donny Schatz was on his flank. Lance Dewease got to start seven rows closer to the front this night, and Marks was lined up next to him. David Gravel was in the third row, along with Carson Macedo. Anthony Macri and Lucas Wolfe had row four, and Aaron Reutzel was matched with Troy Wagaman, Jr. Devon Borden and James McFadden were in row six.

Schatz got the early advantage over Haudenschild, Marks, Dewease, and Macedo. By the time the field got to the scoring loop, though, Marks was into second, and Macedo moved ahead of Dewease.

Schatz reached lapped traffic quickly, catching the backmarkers on lap six. Soon thereafter, Marks was on his tail. Marks took a run at the leader, but could not make the pass. He came back in turn one on lap eight, but he got up over the cushion, and he lost second to Haudenschild briefly. Marks rallied back in turn two and regained second heading down the back stretch.

A couple of laps later, Macedo took a look to the inside of Haudenschild for third. Macedo could not make the pass in turn four and Haudenschild scooted away.

Three Rivers Karting

The top six got into single file formation as they worked through traffic. Schatz was the leader, followed by Marks, Haudenschild, Macedo, and Dewease. Gravel and Mcfadden were battling for sixth, with Macri lurking close behind them.

Marks made a bid for the lead in turn one with twenty laps completed. He slid up ahead of Schatz to a thunderous ovation. Haudenschild repeated the maneuver two laps later to take second.

Haudenschild began to catch Marks, who was having his share of troubles with the slower cars he encountered. Haudenschild dove low into turn one and made a slide job to get past Marks. Unfortunately, Freddie Rahmer, Jr. was up on the cushion, and Haudenschild could not clear him. There was contact and Rahmer got into the heavy dirt above the groove. As he came to a stop on the outside of turn two, Haudenschild darted toward turn three.

The resulting caution put Marks back on the point for the restart, but Haudenschild was not quite done yet. When racing resumed, he tried another slider on Marks, but he could not complete the pass. He got a good run off the inside of turn two and surged ahead. As he was doing so, the front wheels raised up and Haudenschild had to struggle to maintain control. He did, but Marks was able to motor by him heading toward turn three.

While that action was going on up front, Dewease dropped to the inside and he tried to pick off Macedo in turn one. He got alongside, but lost his momentum. Macedo pulled away, and now Dewease was under attack from McFadden and Gravel. The cluster of three came off turn four and Dewease was stuck in the middle, fighting to save his position in the top five. He was successful, but he could not catch Macedo in the remaining laps to attempt another pass.

Marks made the appointed rounds without further challenge from Haudenschild. Third went to Schatz, followed by Macedo and Dewease. Macri grabbed sixth in the final laps. McFadden was seventh, then came Gravel, Reutzel, and Wolfe.

The four heat winners were Haudenschild, Marks, Macri, and Macedo. The dash victor was Haudenschild who also set the fastest time in qualifying, at 17.262 seconds. The B Main winner was Logan Schchart, who also garnered the hard charger award. He advanced nine positions in the A Main.

Williams Grove Speedway will return to action on July 30, with a Sprint Car Doubleheader. The 410s will be joined by the 358s on York Racing Club night. The Billy Kimmel Memorial will be held on August 6, featuring the 410 Sprints and the Super Late Models.

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Dirt Racing

Chappel, Duritsky, Ruhlman and Wolbert winners on Friday at Lernerville



SARVER, PA (Pittsburgh Racing Now) – Issac Chappel passed Carmen Perigo on Lap 6 and never looked back to take the win in the BOSS Wingless Sprint Car Series 25-lap main event.  The win was the fifth in-a-row for Chappel in the BOSS Series.

Mike Duritsky picked up his first career win at ‘The Action Track’ by holding off Will Thomas and Logan Zarin to capture the RUSH Late Model Series feature.  Daryl Charlier and Joe Martin rounded out the Top 5.

Three Rivers Karting

Chad Ruhlman fought off Blaze Myers to pick up the win in the RUSH Sprint Car Series feature.  John Mollick was third followed by Gale Ruth and one of several drivers pulling double-duty, Zach Morrow.

Chas Wolbert collected his 40th career feature victory going wire-to-wire in the RUSH Sportsman Modified feature.  Ben Easler was second.  Justin Shea rounded out the podium.

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Dirt Racing

Li’l Haud Happy at the Grove



Photo: Paul Arch

WILLIAMS GROVE, PA (July 23, 2021): Sheldon Haudenschild took his career first checkered flag at Williams Grove Speedway on the opening night of the Summer Nationals. While the driver from Wooster, OH gladly took the $10,000 purse, current Williams Grove points leader, Lance Dewease, won the hearts of the Pennsylvania faithful with a remarkably strong run from seventeenth to second.

Haudenschild, who joined his father, Jac, as a World of Outlaws victor at the Grove, expressed relief that he was finally able to get a win at the speedway. “I feel like I have a lot of laps around this place, but I could never get that win. We’ve been close, but it feels great to finally pull one off. Makes it sweeter that the 69 (Dewease) was behind us.”

Haudenschild had the pole for the twenty-five lap preliminary feature. Anthony Macri had the local contingent stoked with his second place starting spot. James McFadden lined up third, with David Gravel in fourth. Chad Trout rolled off in fifth, with Donny Schatz next to him. Aaron Reutzel and T.J. Stutts made up row four, with Brent Marks and Kraig Kinser in row five. The sixth row belonged to Brad Sweet and Logan Schuchart.

Haudenschild blasted off turn four into the lead, while Macri had some difficulty getting up to speed. Gravel and McFadden got by him by the first corner and Schatz and Stutts were hounding him. A quick caution for Jeff Halligan facing the wrong way in turn two caused a realignment, but Haudenschild again got away cleanly.

Macri lost another position in the early going, this one to Schatz, but his misfortunes continued. By lap five, he dropped to seventh. But things would get worse for the driver seeking his first 410 win at the Grove. Aaron Reutzel got sideways coming through turn four and Macri clipped him as he went by. Macri spun to the inside and his car was struck by Stutts, who did a slow roll bringing out the red. None of the drivers were injured and both Reutzel and Macri were able to return after making some hasty repairs.

That stoppage proved to be the last of the contest. But it was significant for another reason. It moved Lance Dewease into the eighth position for the restart and it brought the rest of the field back to him.

Three Rivers Karting

When the green light came on again, Haudenschild resumed his lead and he continued to ride the cushion. McFadden stayed within striking distance, while Gravel was keeping Schatz at bay.

But all eyes were glued on the blue machine of Dewease. Using his customary low line, Dewease was making some progress until he reached the car of Carson Macedo. Macedo was using the low line as well and it took Dewease several laps to get by him. However, once he completed the pass, there was no stopping Dewease.

Dewease reached the top five on lap 18, and the best was yet to come. He caught and passed Schatz with two to go and he did the same to McFadden on the white flag lap. While Dewease was closing in on Hadenschild, the Posse fans were hoping for a caution that would set up a dash for the cash.

Their hopes were not fulfilled and Haudenschild streaked under the checkered flag for the win. Dewease crossed in second, making the fans wonder what might have been had he started closer to the front.

“The driver put us behind in qualifying,” Dewease confessed. “We were able to pass cars; we’ve been able to pass cars all year here. But, it was twenty-five laps, that’s all that matters, and Sheldon won it.” Dewease noted that he had some difficulty getting by Macedo and Schatz, both of whom were using his preferred line, but he was pleased to make his charge from the ninth row to second. He received a $250 bonus for beingthe hard charger. Dewease was grateful, but he proclaimed that he did not want that award again on Saturday night.

McFadden claimed the other podium spot, followed by Schatz and Marks. Positions six through ten went to Gravel, Macedo, Sweet, Schuchart, and Danny Dietrich.

The four heat wins went to Schatz, Trout, Stutts, and Macri. Haudenschild won the Dash and Wayne Johnson took the B Main. Haudenschild also set the fastest time of the night, 17.104 seconds. Trout was second, followed by Stutts and Macri.

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